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  1. Action game
  2. Advergaming
  3. Arcade machine
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. Atari Games
  6. Atari Lynx
  7. Audio game
  8. Board games
  9. Browser game
  10. Casual game
  11. Christian video games
  12. Comparison of handheld gaming consoles
  13. Computer and video games
  14. Computer animation
  15. Computer-assisted role-playing game
  16. Computer graphics
  17. Computer role-playing game
  18. Console game
  19. Dr. Mario
  20. Famicom
  21. First person shooter
  22. Game
  23. Game balance
  24. Game Boy
  25. Game Boy Advance
  26. Game Boy Color
  27. Game Boy line
  28. Game Boy Micro
  29. Game classification
  30. Game controller
  31. Game design
  32. Game designer
  33. Game developer
  34. Game Developer Magazine
  35. Game development
  36. Game development tool
  37. Game mechanic
  38. Gameplay
  39. Game programmer
  40. Game programming
  41. Gamer
  42. Game server browser
  43. Game studies
  44. Gaming convention
  45. Golden Age of Arcade Games
  46. Handheld game console
  47. History of computer and video games
  48. History of video game consoles
  49. History of video games
  50. Hotseat
  51. Internet gaming
  52. Joystick
  53. LAN gaming center
  54. List of books about computer and video games
  55. List of commercial failures in computer and video gaming
  56. List of gaming topics
  57. Mobile game
  58. Multiplayer game
  59. N-Gage
  60. Nintendo 64
  61. Nintendo DS
  62. Nintendo GameCube
  63. Personal computer game
  64. Pinball
  65. Play-by-mail game
  66. Play-by-post game
  67. PlayStation 3
  68. PlayStation Portable
  69. Pong
  70. Programming game
  71. Puzzle computer game
  72. Real-time strategy
  73. Sega Dreamcast
  74. Sega Saturn
  75. Serious game
  76. Simulation game
  77. Single player
  78. Sony PlayStation
  79. Stealth-based game
  80. Strategy game
  81. Strategy guide
  82. Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  83. Synthespian
  84. Tabletop role-playing game
  85. Teamspeak
  86. Tetris
  87. Tokyo Game Show
  88. Video game center
  89. Video game console
  90. Video game crash of 1983
  91. Video game industry
  92. Video game publisher
  93. Wargame
  94. Wii
  95. Xbox 360


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Game classification

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Games may be classified and sub-classified according to many different criteria. Each scheme has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • What sort of challenge / skill is involved (e.g. abstract calculation, anagramming, luck, bluffing, verbalizing, coordination, speed, etc.)?
This leads to the "Folk Model" theory of 4 categories: games of skill, games of chance, games of strategy and simulation games, propagated by Anderson/Moore and Brian Sutton-Smith. This scheme is probably most natural, and quite neatly separates billiards from chess from Tomb Raider. The main disadvantage is that too many games fall under more than one head. For example Scrabble relies a great deal on word knowledge and anagramming, but also has significant strategic aspects.
Games of skill can be further subdivided into physical-skill games and mental-skill games.
  • What equipment is used to play the game (e.g. a computer, a board, cards, tiles, dice, etc.)?
This categorization is also very natural and common, but sometimes problematic. For example, Balderdash is a commercial board game, whereas Fictionary is almost identical but uses no board.
This scheme seems odd since it forces similar games to be listed under completely different headings.

Other distinctions are less important, and apply more or less well to different major headings.

For example, the difference between team and individual sports is fundamental, whereas team board games are so rare as to hardly merit a category. The remaining distinctions apply mostly to non-physical games.

  • What game mechanics does the game use?
Game mechanics are the rules by which the game play and winning conditions are regulated. A game that uses dice to regulate movement on a board provides a different experience to one that involves players drawing tiles at random and laying them out on a playing surface, for example.
  • How many players does the game accommodate?
The most important division is between two-player and multiplayer games, because nearly all multiplayer games involve negotiation or coalition-building to some degree. Among multiplayer games it is also important (particularly to whoever is organizing the party) what range in the number of players can be accommodated. One disadvantage of this distinction is that a few games such as Titan are equally good two-player or multiplayer.
  • The extent to which chance is a factor?
Games run the gamut from having no chance whatsoever (purely deterministic games like chess, checkers, go, arimaa, pente) to being entirely determined by chance (purely stochast games like roulette, Chutes and Ladders). Games like Backgammon and Bridge are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum: these are stochastic in nature (i.e. involve an element of chance) but allow a skilled player to significantly optimise his/her chances.
  • How deep is the strategy?
Some games (bridge, Go) can be studied for years without exhausting what there is to learn, whereas others (Three Men's Morris) can be mastered relatively easily.
  • How easy is it to learn the rules of the game?
Chess and Go are often compared for their depth and abstraction, but chess has considerably more difficult rules. This consideration is particularly important for family games, where ideally children should be able to play along easily, without making the game so simple it holds no interest for adults.
  • Is the game relatively abstract or does it attempt to simulate some aspect of reality (e.g. stock market, war scenarios)?
For some simulation games, the realism is more important than all other factors, whereas some games (Set) are so abstract that the names and shapes of all the pieces could change without affecting playability. However, most games lie somewhere in between, with a balance between abstraction and simulation.
  • Are players eliminated as the game progresses, or can everyone play along until the end?
This is most important socially, as a host may wonder how to entertain guests who have been knocked out of the main event.
  • What is the objective of the game?
This is most useful as a sub-subheading, because different types of games tend to have different types of objectives. For example, card games have natural categories of trick-taking and shedding games, which don't apply to board games, whereas board games have categories of capture, racing, and immobilization which don't apply to card games.
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